Make a Smile for Mosul Children

Sport Intervention for Psychological Rehabilitation
05/09/2018 13:13

The Iraqi city of Mosul has faced for three years, since 2014, challenges against terrorism, which are considered very dangerous to the international community. The residents of this city were exposed to physical, moral and intellectual violence by ISIS. This violence included the children of the city that has a history of 6000 years.


As a result of the cooperation between ICSSPE and the University of Mosul, the programme of Make a Smile for Mosul Children is achieved to help the Mosul city children overcome their psychological problems and to attempt to rehabilitate them. The programme included theoretical and practical procedures that were applied on a group of children who are victims of war and terrorism. That was achieved through programmes of psychological and intellectual rehabilitation, using sport interventions that aim at psychological rehabilitation. The physical education programme was suggested by psychologists, physical education teachers and university professors. The programme included two stages: The first stage was to train physical education teachers to deal with such human issues. They had to comprehend the programme before applying it in their work with children. The programme included 30 physical education teachers from 30 schools in Mosul.


The first stage took place at the University of Mosul under the personal patronage of the president of the university. The activities linked to the second stage were implemented in the schools in the Eastern and Western parts of Mosul, especially in the West that was exposed to destruction during the battle of liberation.


Many children had lost their families, their houses were destroyed and they were exposed to ISIS terrorism. All of that led to acute psychological shock that needed to be treated. We have heard sorrowful stories from these children. Our work can be described as a drop within a sea for there is still a big need to continue the serious work to achieve great human goals, commented Nadhim Al-Wattar, one of the initiators of the programme.


At the same time, there are success stories of the work team in some schools. With the grant the programme organisers received through the ICSSPE Biennial Working Programme, the participating children received also sport uniforms and toys. They actively participated in the programme and their psychological situation slowly improved.


Rounding-off his report, Nadhim Al-Wattar said: We believe that ICSSPE is an important international example for the human and physical support to the work team and the children. ICSSPE, as a scientific and sport organisation, represents an example for others in supporting the human and scientific initiatives. Thanks to everyone who participated in this human, athletic and moral work in this destroyed city.


The Biennial Working programme runs from 2017 until 2018 and allows ICSSPE members to apply for research grants. The main objective of the programme is to promote capacity building among ICSSPE and its Members. It was developed by the Associations’ Board and approved by the General Assembly on 31st August 2016 in Santos, Brazil.